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Confrontation in Syria still ongoing

Confrontation in Syria still ongoing

If Assad is forced to step down, this will do no good to either Syria or the West, in the first place.

"Friends of Syria" group held another meeting last week in Morocco. The conference brought together representatives from over 100 countries including the U.S., which recognized the legitimacy of Syria's National Coalition for the Opposition Forces. The decision comes to loosen the militants in a move to better support the opposition, both in terms of diplomacy and technical support, telecommunication, etc. This is a step towards further arming of the opposition which may result in a disaster similar to the one in Libya.

PanARMENIAN.Net - Prior to Morocco gathering, the U.S. endorsed the reorganized opposition coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people. Analysts expect other countries to join this decision shortly.

“That will be a major political shot in the arm for the opposition, which at the moment is trying to organize in a better fashion and trying to better coordinate with the armed units within Syria that are fighting against the Assad regime,” said Andrew Tabler, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

“Will groups fight each other and will Syria be plunged into warlordism? We just don’t know,” he stated.

There are increasing concerns that the Islamist extremists are gaining weight within the armed opposition groups in Syria. Ahead of the meeting in Morocco, the U.S. labelled the Syrian Nusra Front group an al-Qaeda affiliate, a terrorist organization. Recognition of the Syrian opposition in Morocco is an attempt to lessen the influence of jihad units while the Western countries are trying to establish cooperation with the Syrian opposition. Jihad groups join the units of the Free Syrian army, particularly during attacks against the governmental military facilities.

The outcome of the meeting, as expected, was the recognition of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces founded in Doha, Qatar in November 2012 as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people and the leader of the opposition forces.

The Syrian president Bashar Assad has lost legitimacy and should leave to allow the launching of a political transition process in compliance with Geneva communiqué, read the final statement of Morocco meeting participants.

“Friends of Syria” group called on Damascus authorities to immediately stop all attacks and fully withdraw the troops from the city districts, as the first stage of total suspension of violence. Also, it condemned the disproportionate and blind use of force by the Syrian regime, in particular, heavy weapons, and air and missile attacks.

“Friends of Syria” voiced regret over the increasingly growing death toll of the conflict which already topped 40 000, the deterioration of the humanitarian crisis and refugee problem, highlighting the need to create conditions for a sustainable political resolution of the Syrian crisis.

Morocco gathering voiced “firm support to the efforts aimed at prevention of the increasing threat, including NATO's decision to strengthen Turkey’s support and the intention to deploy Patriot missile complexes on Turkish territory.”

Meanwhile, the idea of the upcoming triumph of the Syrian opposition and Assad’s dethronement is consolidating in the West. “I believe Bashar Assad’s end is close, you see, it’s apparent, and even Russia realizes this. We may wonder whether Assad aims to stir a regional conflict?” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry refuted the French statement by saying that Moscow’s stance on the Syrian conflict has remained unchanged. The Friends of Syria are pushing the Syrian opposition towards activation of armed fight, Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich declared.

For their part, Turkey and Iran propose their own options for settling the Syrian issue. Ankara believes the Syrian leader should step down to make way for a consultative body comprising representatives of all political factions. Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan already discussed this plan with the Russian leader Vladimir Putin, the Turkish media report. Iran which recently granted several ambulances to Syria, proposes a six-point plan offering suspension of bloodshed under UN control, channeling of aid and renovation of infrastructures, amnesty of political prisoners, and negotiations with involvement of all parties.

In addition, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah declared that the Syrian rebels would fail to win the 21-month-long confrontation. Assad's faithful ally, Nasrallah, in particular, stated: “The situation is Syria becomes more complex, but those believing that the armed opposition is able to settle the situation on the ground are very much mistaken.”

Nasrallas' words are true, to some extent; the militants won't manage to bring peace to the country. Furthermore, if Assad is forced to step down, this will do no good to either Syria or the West, in the first place.

Karine Ter-Sahakian
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